Photo by ISIPhotos.com
By IVES GALARCEP
Omar Gonzalez has not only broken new ground as the first pure centerback to ever earn a Designated Player contract in Major League Soccer. He will also be the first pure centerback millionaire in MLS.
Gonzalez’s new DP contract is a three-year guaranteed deal worth more than $4.5 million total, an annual average of more than $1.5 million that dwarfs what the league’s other top centerbacks currently make, sources confirmed to SBI on Thursday.
Gonzalez was able to parlay his standing as a U.S. Men’s National Team regular and relatively young American standout about to become a free agent into the most lucrative deal ever signed by a defender in MLS. Rafa Marquez was a higher-paid DP by the New York Red Bulls, but when he arrived in MLS he was still considered a midfielder who could also play central defense.
To put Gonzalez’ deal into perspective, Vancouver’s Jay DeMerit is the highest-paid defender in MLS for the 2013 season, with Columbus’ Chad Marshall second at $361,250. In fact, Gonzalez’ 2014 salary will be more than what the four-highest paid defenders in MLS in 2013 will make combined.
Gonzalez deal gives the Galaxy two Designated Players under contract for 2013, with Robbie Keane also slated to return. Landon Donovan remains a free agent at the end of the 2013 season.
What do you think of Gonzalez’s contract? Think the Galaxy made a good deal, or feel Gonzalez is being overpaid?
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